Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Braised Turkey Breast

A bone-in turkey breast, oven-braised in chicken stock with aromatics, in a covered pot and pictured here with a baked sweet potato and my Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.
A bone-in turkey breast, oven-braised in chicken stock with aromatics, in a covered pot and pictured here with a baked sweet potato and my Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.

Braised Turkey Breast

It's rare that I will cook a turkey or chicken without brining it first. Although I use an in oven thermometer {affil link} these days, there has been many a time that I thought I had that timing down perfect, only to result in an overcooked, tasteless and dry bird. It's not hard to do given how poultry is bred today. Those thermometers are a godsend, especially with roasting any meat.

A brine gives a little extra insurance against that, whether you're using a thermometer or not, as well as infusing some salty goodness into the meat. That said, since this turkey breast was going to be cooked with a braising method, I decided to give it a try without either. The braising process does wonders to meat and I was delighted with the result!

This recipe can be prepared in any kind of covered vessel - a Dutch oven, in-oven roaster or electric roaster all work equally well, and even a slow cooker will work. I used the oven function on my Ninja Cooking System 4-in-1 {affil links}. It's one of those countertop appliances that is a little large to keep out and ended up on a shelf in the walk-in pantry that I don't think about so much, but I'm trying to resolve that. I waited a long time to get one so I'm going to try and use it a bit more!

The key, in this instance, is using a vessel that will fit the turkey breast you purchase, or more appropriately, selecting a turkey breast that will fit the vessel you have! You may need to break or remove some of the bones to make it fit.

Since this is a braise, browning the turkey breast is not to add color, as that will get lost in the cooking process, but is solely to create a fond - those lovely browned bits that develop in the bottom of the pot and add tons of flavor to a dish. You can opt for using chicken stock or broth, water with a chicken base, or simply plain water, the least expensive option. I often use water, especially with a slower cooking dish relying on enhancements from added aromatics, such as here, and often from seasoning meats. With shorter cooking dishes and braises like this, however, chicken stock or broth adds a little to the overall cost, but it's also another level of flavor.

While this braising method doesn't make for a picture-perfect final presentation like oven roasting does, this turkey will turn out so tender, juicy and flavorful, that I think you'll be very pleased with the final outcome anyway. Although the veggies can be eaten, they've pretty much done their job, so plan on other sides to serve with your turkey. In the picture above, I had baked sweet potatoes with my Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.

For more of my favorite turkey recipes, check out the collection on my Pinterest page!

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Posted by on January 15, 2020

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